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Interactive books were initially only for children, where the intention would be to teach the children farm noises, how to say words etc. The earliest version of the interactive books were pop up books, and pull tab books, and flap books. These then developed into digitised learning books for young children. After realising how much of the world had become digital, books were then made available digitally to keep up with the technology of today, and the most common way of reading an ebook or interactive book is now through a Kindle, E-reader or iPad.

For the interactive book that I will be using as a case study for my essay, I will be looking at Alice for the iPad. It is the interactive version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The app was created by Chris Stevens, and is said to be one of the most advanced interactive books so far. It is a clever way of illustrating the book, as the audience can feel as though they are involved in the story by controlling certain aspects of what they see, such as using your finger to move illustrations around the screen, using the tilt function in order to throw sweets at the characters. The contents page is an easy way to navigate around the book, and also easily skip chapters. The layout is exactly the same as a printed book, but you cannot bookmark any of the pages to pick up where you left off, as the ebook goes automatically to the page you left it on. The illustrations are the classic, well known ones by John Tenniel, and this does somewhat keep the classic look about it, but when turning the page, you have to click the buttons.

Here are some photographs of the Alice for the iPad app to show how it is interactive:

 

I personally am not a fan of the interactive book because I think that it is overcomplicating something that is not needed in this form. I would prefer to read a book because you do not have to worry about it running out of charge, or being deleted by accident, or if it smashing when you drop it. One thing that I do like about this interactive book is that I did not have to pay for it, where as I would have to pay for the paper version, or a different digitised version if I were willing to pay for it would be available to me from the app store, so I like the fact that you can access a wide variety of books at the touch of a button, but I personally just prefer the book form, as I like the physicality of it.

 

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